Hong Kong police use tear gas to clear protesters
Riot police use tear gas against protesters after thousands of people block a main road to the financial central district outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong - AP

HONG KONG: Hong Kong police have used tear gas to try to clear a huge crowd of pro-democracy protesters who had gathered outside government headquarters.

Police lobbed canisters of tear gas into the crowd on Sunday evening after spending hours holding the protesters at bay.

The searing fumes from tear gas sent protesters fleeing down the road.

Authorities launched their crackdown after the protest spiraled into an extraordinary scene of chaos as the crowd jammed a busy road and clashed with officers wielding pepper spray.

The protesters were trying tried to reach a mass sit-in being held outside government headquarters to demand Beijing grant genuine democratic reforms to the former British colony.

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